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Thread: Pore filling period furniture

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
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    Pore filling period furniture

    I am working on a federal period walnut table, and it surprisingly looks good to me, so I am afraid I am going to mess it up. My first piece of indoor furniture. Couple of questions.
    Trying to figure out whether to do timbermate walnut pore filler, or not, before a shellac finish followed by wax. Any suggestions, I.e., should I skip the filler? Everything is hand planed, and the only part that seems to have noticeably open pores is the beveled underside of the top. The tapered legs seem really smooth. I have not yet rounded the end grain edges of the table top, so that might open up some pores there as well.
    CAEE1635-B2DF-443C-BFBB-22E44F70CD76.jpg
    Second, any suggestions on transtint? Guy at the lumber store said it is kiln dried, but it seems to have a good color and everything was from a single 8/4 board and i donít need to blend any sap wood. I used some golden brown on walnut plywood previously and read that kiln dried veneer had color issues, but this looks okay.
    Third, the banding is tiger maple. 2 drops of honey amber in 2 oz of water looked good to me on the banding and extremely subtle, but everything from the past that I see online looks a lot darker and more orange. Is natural too stark for this kind of piece? Golden brown was striking, but maybe too much. Reddish brown was too red.
    69F99010-A9EA-4D38-857A-298AB0592E44.jpg

  2. #2
    I agree that we see a lot of too orange stuff. But we also see a lot of too brown walnut. I like a brown that has a touch of
    red ,not orange. Orange shellac is said to be more durable than garnet shelac ,I think garnet looks better.

  3. #3
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    Todd, I’m working on a federal style piece with stringing and banding and went through the same concerns. It’s good you’re testing to see how the stain or dye is going affect your banding. Most experienced woodworkers with stringing and banding will recommend that you avoid any stain, dyes, fillers, etc., to keep from coloring the inlay too much.

    I’m using mahogany. I tested all my inlays with various finishes to see what worked best to my eye. I’ve settled on BLO as a first coat to bring out the grain. After the BLO cures, I’ll use several coats of dewaxed clear shellac to help fill the grain, and probably finish up with ArmRSeal...

    In other words, I’d avoid the filler unless you see what it looks like on your banding...and like the result. I’m thinking it will darken it or muddy it up more than you like. I’d also avoid stains/dyes. The walnut is beautiful on it’s own. Test an oil coat first on scrap walnut and banding (BLO/Watco,etc). If the only place you think you need filler is under the top edge, I’d definitly skip it.
    Last edited by Phil Mueller; 10-11-2018 at 9:19 AM.

  4. #4
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    Good suggestions. I will try samples of both finishes and skip the pore filler.

  5. #5
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    I should add, Todd, that I’m using a similar tiger maple banding on my project. The BLO does a nice job bringing out the “curl” in the maple.

    C09D1B89-C86A-409D-B283-8F6F367BD312.jpg

  6. #6
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    Thanks for posting the photo. That looks great.

  7. #7
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    Todd, that's a nice looking table and the color of the wood looks very consistent. Shellac or an oil finish should do a fine job of bringing out the beauty of the wood. That said, I've often used TT dye on walnut to further highlight the grain and/or shift the color to something more pleasing to me. You can do that w/o coloring the banding by first applying a couple of coats of Sealcoat shellac to the banding with an artist's brush. It's not as hard as it sounds and will keep the dye from coloring it. I did just that with the inlays on these cabinets.



    Personally, I like the look of the grain coming through the finish, particularly an oil finish like Arm-R-Seal, so I wouldn't fill the grain. But if you do, TimberMate will do a good job as will several other products.

    John

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